2021 Recap : Spoiler Alert

{If you’re here for the photos, just skip down to the bottom}

I was there…With the Christmas trees outlined in the windows. The smell of cinnamon and a warm kitchen from baking all day. The traditions that were done every year, I went through the motions.

But I wasn’t really there.

Anxiety flowed through my body. It was an energy but not one that resulted in productive action. One that stopped me and was hard to do anything but just think.

Burned out. Frustrated. Lost. Wondering through a sea of change, trying to find my way.

It was a year ago that a lot of anxiety, pressure, and to be frank, shit hit the fan. In my head, I think it was one email that changed the following path I took and the way 2021 went but really, it had been brewing that way for a while. I was just too fearful of taking a leap that I needed to a while ago.

I would’ve never imagined a year ago that I would be full-time with my own business right now. I wanted it as a goal for 15 some years but always thought the timing wasn’t right. X, Y, and Z would need to happen before I could take the leap.

There is power in saying no to a company that creates an environment of high pressure and forever changing expectations. Saying no to being burned out for years and what you do will never measure up to being good enough…whatever good enough is for that day.

It was scary. It took a while to convince myself that I could do it. Stepping into the unknown. Worst of all, I didn’t plan for it, so it would be a complete risk. Good things come from hard places. I learned that lesson many times before.

The first few months of 2021 were difficult. Even when I decided to be my own boss, there were a lot of unknowns I’d walkthrough. If I’m being honest, I’ve felt lost for most of the year with thoughts of “WTF am I doing?” I’m not sure that feeling ever really goes away when you own your own business. I’ve worried about finding clients, enough income to cover my expenses + more to put away for a rainy day, how I was going to afford health insurance, and if an emergency expense came along, what would I do.

But if we skip ahead to the end, it was worth it, and it all turned out ok. If I realized anything, the last few years definitely prepared me for this year. Everything I learned, experienced, and dealt with made this year more of an “aha” moment than anything.

I unofficially made my motto for 2021 to trust and let go. I exchanged a high salary for freedom. I put my mental health and my soul above a heavy paycheck. It wasn’t easy.

We live in a world of things, molds, comparisons, and keeping up with the Joneses. But the freedom, the sweet freedom, lifted a heavy weight off my shoulders. I’ve honestly never felt so good inside in a very long time. I’m not sure I would say I exchanged one thing for another, but more so, I made a decision that aligned better to what I needed to make a priority…and one I had put off for years.

“I will bet on myself, and even when the cards are stacked against me, I will break through them. I will.”

Here’s to you, friend, and betting on yourself! I believe in you.